Aug 3, 2017

The plus sign that became a religious symbol for boycott

The Pelephone store in Tiberias has run into some trouble it probably could not see was coming.

The store, in addition to cellphones, sells all sorts of other products of interest to its customers. Among the various items is a set of speakers made by Wonderboom.

Wonderboom speakers have a large + and - sign placed on the speakers, with the + above the - and it is their design. Together, with the + and - placed the way they are, somewhat resembles a cross.

This product placed in the store has upset some its customers. Specifically, the Haredi community of Rav Dov Kook. They have requested the product be either removed or the symbols be covered or distorted and they say the requests have been ignored.

Rav Kook has announced that if the issue is not dealt with the Haredi community will avoid and remove all products of Pelephone.
source: Kikar

Will the entire Haredi community boycott Pelephone over this? it seems unlikely. Maybe just the ones under Rav Kook in Tiberias? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, whether Pelephone acquiesces or not and whether the community actually boycotts them or not, some people need to be a little less sensitive about things. Of all the possible things to get upset about, this seems like one of the sillier ones...

And yes, I know that in the Haredi community a plus sign is not written as the full + but only a half cross, as depicted below:

but still...

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  1. Minus signs aren't drawn vertically. That's a one or a lower-case ell below the plus sign. And it does resemble a cross.

    1. If you tilt your head to the right when looking at it, it is a plus sign and minus sign.


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  4. It's not just charedim who use the alternate plus. Next time you're on El Al look at the volume switches on the TV.

    It's all silly, of course. The plus sign is derived, like the &, from the Latin "et," meaning "and." That "t" is of course derived from the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet, just as the whole Latin alphabet comes from the Hebrew one, which in Ktav Ivri looked like a cross or an X. (That's what "tav" means in Hebrew, and is used that way in Tanach.) The Ktav Ashuri letter is similarly derived.


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